The region’s manufacturing sector was celebrated at Insider’s Made in the North West Awards on 9 May, hailing successes in an array of activities from valve manufacturing to baby milk formula.
Ten manufacturers won awards across eleven categories in total, including best innovation, collaboration, export, technology and sustainability.
The Collaboration Award went to Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre and engineering firm Heap and Partners (pictured), who teamed up to investigate the potential use of 3D printing for producing valve components, and an augmented reality (AR) ‘companion app’ to explore product designs.
The two partners were put together via the LCR4.0 initiative, which supports manufacturing SMEs within the Liverpool City Region to adopt new and emerging digital technologies.
Within a few days of project completion, Heap and Partners had used the AR app to showcase their valve products at a trade event and have invested in a 3D printer to undertake development work and fulfil orders, including rapid prototyping.
Southport-based waste management specialist, Inciner8, won the Export Award after a record-breaking year selling into 172 countries.
Originating in the UK farming industry, the company supplies clean air incinerators and 85 per cent of its business now takes place overseas.
The Digital Engineering / Technology Award, sponsored by Made Smarter, went to The Hut Group, which bases its UK operations in Cheshire. The award recognised the company’s use of online technology, which operates 166 localised websites across 46 languages and 42 currencies.
Baby milk formula manufacturer Kendal Nutricare won the Sustainable / Ethical Manufacturer Award in recognition of its anti-palm oil policy, its commitment to good farming practices and the use of local dairy. The company was also the winner of this year’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Business of the Year Award.
The Automotive Award went to Liverpool’s Briggs Automotive Company (BAC), which produces the BAC Mono - the world’s only road-legal, single-seater supercar.
Meanwhile, Manchester Gin won the Food and Drink Award, having grown significantly since its inception in a dining room in 2016 - its gin range is now available in six countries.
Knutsford-based Packaging Automation Ltd, which produces innovative filling and tray sealing solutions, received the Manufacturing Innovation Award after being hailed by judges as “a great example of innovation in increasing manufacturing efficiency.”
The overall Manufacturer of the Year Awards went to St Helens-based ATG Access (under £25 million), a manufacturer of innovative road blocker, bollards and vehicle barrier systems, and renowned trailer manufacturer Cartwright Group (over £25 million), which is celebrating its 67th year in business.
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